Will Butch be back for Rebels?

CHICAGO – UNLV's task of defeating No. 2 seeded Wisconsin (30-5) could be made even tougher if Badger center/forward Brian Butch returns to action for Sunday's second round NCAA Tournament game.

Butch, wearing a special brace on an elbow he dislocated during a Feb. 25 loss at Ohio State, took part in Wisconsin's open practice at the United Center on Thursday but did not play in Friday's first round win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

It was originally announced that the 6-foot-11, 245-pound honorable mention all-Big Ten pick would be sidelined four to six weeks. But a team trainer told media members Saturday that Butch, who averaged 8.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, has been medically cleared to play and that he could return on Sunday.

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, however, said he wanted to see Butch take part in his team's closed workout on Saturday before making a decision.

"I don't know," Ryan said when asked if Butch would play against UNLV. "They should have these things (press conferences) afterwards. We have a workout here in a little bit, but he's had more rehab, another day off. We'll take a look at him out there and see how he blends in."


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